Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fake Cancer Bloggers

During my 10-month treatment and even now, I have encountered something that I have never been able to fathom: bloggers who have faked having cancer.

The first one was this girl, Amelia, a 20-something from Detroit who claimed to be a three-time cancer survivor, all before the age of 20 or 21.  Something grandiose.   She had this extraordinary story about her life and for awhile, you don't question it because why would anyone lie about having cancer?  That's silly.

But then things stated to make people go, "Hmmmm."  The thing that finally tipped the REAL cancer community was that Amelia claimed to be on death's door and in a coma, but yet she was liking people's statuses on her Facebook.   Woops.  After that, it was pretty easy to go through her entire story and figure out that pretty much 90 to 95 percent of what she said was a big fat lie.

After that, it was another young 20-something, Cara, who said she had both AIDS and a cancer as a result from her AIDS.  Unlike Amelia, Cara dove into her lie and posted pictures that gave her more credibility.  She shaved her head and eyebrows, and even rented medical equipment (or maybe bought it) and posed pictures as if she were some terminal case.

She wasn't.

No not really.  I wish.

I never became close internet friends with either girl, but I kept up-to-date with their goings on.  I knew what was going on with their "treatment," and I was immediately in the know when both were outed as fakers.  Still when their deceptions came to light, it still blew my mind.  Why would anyone fake having cancer?  Neither girl ever came out and said, "I apologize for my actions.  I have been faking having this disease so you all would pay attention to me."  Frankly, even if one of them apologized and talked about their actions, I wouldn't believe a word of what they said.

It takes a sick, sad individual to go on a blogging platform, like tumblr, and pretend to have a disease that has destroyed and taken so many lives.  How do you go about your day as a stupid 20-something and then later log on to see if some stranger is still worried about your well being?  Do you sit there and giggle at them for being so naive and trusting?  Do you laugh and slap your knee when another cancer survivor becomes invested in your well being?  

Cancer has taken so much from me.  It has taken family members of mine, not just my mom.  It has forever changed my life and not particularly in a good way.  Sure, I get attention, but it's not attention I ever craved for before my diagnosis.  I don't want this attention and would gladly give it away.  I don't like when acquaintances see me, tilt their heads and go, "Oh, how ARE you?"  I hate the fact that when my friends are getting married and having babies, I'm having surgeries or figuring out who I want as my medical power of attorney.  I especially do not like the attention that I did or not receive from my immediate family.

I appreciate that friends and family care about me, but it doesn't validate my existence.  Because for REAL cancer patients and survivors, we're not seeking FAME or PITY.  Most of us do this because we want to vent and let our emotions out.  I don't do this for pity and if I feel if someone is pitying me, then they aren't a friend of mine.  The fake cancer bloggers want the people to go, "Oh you poor thing!  I was praying for you."

Really?  Oh you love me.  I'm so important.

I'm about to go through an EXTREME surgery like a double mastectomy.  If you want to have cancer and get the type of attention I do, I'd gladly switch places with you.  I don't want to be in my shoes and be staring down the barrel of losing both of my breasts.  I am.  That is the reality of my situation; keyword: REALITY.

To would be fake cancer bloggers:

I want to warn you that people who have actually gone through treatment know their shit.  Pretty much all of us paid close attention to what our doctors said or what our research showed.  We can smell bullshit a mile away.  We know what protocols make sense and what don't.   After each of my chemos, I could barely form a coherent sentence, nevertheless a paragraph (hell, I still have problems with that).  If I suspect for a second that someone is pretending to have cancer to scam money, I am going to do everything in my power to find proof that you're a liar, and I will out you.

I can back up all my cancer claims/talk/knowledge bombs.  Can you?

Be afraid of me,


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